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Santa Cruz County Explainer Articles


Image caption: Same sex marriage and other rights may soon come under the SCOTUS axe.
Clarence Thomas Wants SCOTUS to Take Back More Rights

If Clarence Thomas gets his way, the Supreme Court won't stop at revoking the right to abortion. Same sex marriage, contraception and gay sex are likely to be next on the SCOTUS hit list.


Image caption: Justice Clarence Thomas calls for SCOTUS to pull back even more established rights after Roe v. Wade.
Why Clarence Thomas Wants to Throw Out Your Rights

Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas wrote that after overturning Roe v. Wade SCOTUS must now overturn decisions allowing same-sex marriage and contraception. Here's why.


Image caption: Thousands of homeowners have been kicked off their fire insurance policies.
California Fire Insurance Crisis: How the State Helps Homeowners

As California insurance companies have revoked the fire policies of thousands of homeowners, the state has taken steps to get them covered again.


Image caption: Historically dry conditions appear likely to lead to another summer of fire in California.
California Wildfire Season 2022: Here's What to Expect

The 2022 California wildfire season looks like another dangerous one, with the state's historic drought showing no signs of letting up. Here's what to expect, and some measures the state is taking to slow down the flames.


Image caption: The cycle of crime and homelessness is escalating, but it doesn't have to be that way.
Homelessness and Crime in California: Even More Complex Than You Think

The links between homelessness and crime are complex, and the idea that unhoused individuals present a danger to their community seems to be exaggerated.


Image caption: An affordable housing complex being built in Santa Cruz County.
A Real Solution to the Housing Crisis

Gov. Newsom and the state legislature should consider allocating $40 billion of the state's $97 billion surplus to subsidize the building of low-income housing.


Image caption: Immigrants continue to shape the face of California today.
California’s History of Immigration: How Immigrants Built the State

From long before it became a state, to the present day, immigration has shaped California—but they have often been treated poorly. Here’s how immigrants helped build California, through the state’s mixed history with immigration.


Image caption: Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies lost more than half of their value in just six months.
The Great Crypto Crash of 2022, Explained

Crypto investors have seen more than half of their cryptocurrency value wiped out in six months. What is crypto, and what caused the great crash of 2022?


Image caption: ATMS were one of the earliest forms of online networked banking.
How Cash Went Digital

Before crypto, banking began moving into the digital world as far back as 1953. Here's a brief history of how computers and the internet changed finance.


Image caption: Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant in San Luis Obispo County, California.
Nuclear Power in California: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

California may soon shut down its last nuclear power plant, but Gov. Gavin Newsom who once championed the closure has had a change of heart. Federal funds may now keep the plant running.


Image caption: The scene of the K Street shooting in downtown Sacramento, in which six people were killed.
Covering the Sacramento Mass Gang Shooting

Following the K-Street shooting, a freelance journalist's thoughts about reporting on the deadliest single episode of gun violence in Sacramento history.


Image caption: Elon Musk says he wants to buy Twitter to protect ‘free speech.’
Billionaires Buy the Media: Elon Musk is Only the Latest

Elon Musk may be the latest, but billionaires have been buying media outlets for decades. What does that mean for the control of news and information at a time when a free press is more important than ever?


Image caption: Seemingly minor code violations can cost struggling homeowners thousands.
Code Violations and ‘Excessive Fines’: Californians Battle Cities

Code violations, even after they're fixed, can cost struggling homeowners their homes. Some have seen fees and fines into the six figures even after repairs. Here are some of the horror stories. But what can be done about it?


Image caption: Joshua Tree National Park is a great place to spend International Dark Sky Week, but even closer to home there are activities one can do to appreciate heavenly bodies.
What Is International Dark Sky Week?

It’s time to turn off the lights and explore the cosmos in all its glory.


Image caption: With drought getting worse, California needs to increase water use efficiency.
How California Can Increase Water Savings By 30 Percent

California can increase water savings in urban and suburban areas by 30 to 48 percent using nothing but existing technology, a new report from the Pacific Institute says.


Image caption: Gov. Newsom’s new SMARTER plan anticipates that COVID will move from pandemic to endemic.
California’s New ‘Endemic’ COVID Plan

California has a new plan for dealing with COVID as the disease becomes endemic. But does that mean the pandemic is over? Here’s what Gov. Newsom is proposing.


Image caption: A ban on assault weapons is just one of 107 California gun control laws.
California Gun Control Laws and Mass Shootings

California has more gun laws than any other state. Here's how it took a series of mass shootings to make the state the toughest in the country on guns.


Image caption: Black Panthers at the California Capitol in 1967, an incident that sparked the gun control movement.
California Gun Control, Reagan, and the Black Panthers

The modern gun control movement started in California. Surprisingly, it was the work of Ronald Regan and the Black Panther Party. Here’s what happened.


Image caption: State Sen. Steve Glazer speaks at a hearing of the Governmental Organization Committee on March 29.
Calling Emergency to Save Journalism

California has lost 25 percent of its newspapers and seen a circulation plummet over the past 15 years. A bill in the State Legislature, SB 911, could help.


Image caption: The California mental health crisis is tied to both homelessness and rising crime.
California’s Mental Health Crisis: How We Got Here

How the California mental health crisis emerged out of the state’s history of deinstitutionalization and laws designed to protect the mentally ill, as well as the communities around them.


EXPLAINER

Long form articles which explain how something works, or provide context or background information about a current issue or topic.

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